Cedar Centre For Legal Studies

Press Release

Seeking Social Justice in Lebanon


Flag of the Lebanon
Flag of the Lebanon

On the occasion of the World Day of Social Justice, the Cedar Centre for Legal Studies reaffirms its unwavering commitment to achieving social justice, equality, and human rights in Lebanon. This year’s theme, “Bridging Gaps, Building Alliances,” resonates deeply with our mission to create a more just and inclusive society. Cedar Centre attempts to bridge the gap related to illegalised migration. After 2019, Lebanon turned into a country of transit and immigration due to the absence of any requirements for a decent life there.

Lebanon faces pressing challenges related to social justice, which have been exacerbated by the economic, political, and security crises. These crises have repercussions on everyone residing on the Lebanese territory, whether Lebanese or foreigner. One of the most important of these repercussions is immigration.

In 2022, a report issued by UNICEF highlighted that many youth halted their education in pursuit of employment opportunities, viewing migration as their only chance for a better life.

The number of migrants attempting to cross seas and borders illegalised has risen due to economic distress and barriers to legal migration. UNHCR reported an increase in sea departures from Lebanon since 2020, with boats carrying passengers seeking safer shores.

Tragically, some of these journeys end in disasters, as witnessed by the sinking of a boat off the coast of Tripoli in April 2022, resulting in loss of lives and missing passengers. In September 2022, another boat sank off Arwad Island, Syria, while heading towards Europe from North Lebanon. At least 70 people lost their lives. Survivors, including a Lebanese national, faced arrest and forced disappearance in Syria. In December 2022, the Lebanese Army rescued over 200 people on the move from a sinking boat near Selaata, Lebanon, but most were unlawfully deported to Syria. And recently, in December 2023, a boat carrying about 85 persons, including 50 women and children, went into an irregular trip from Lebanon via boat. The majority are Syrians, with others being Lebanese. But since then, no information about their whereabouts appeared.

Cedar Centre for Legal Studies urges the Lebanese authorities and the international community to:

  • Address the root causes of migration, including economic hardships and lack of opportunities as well as lack of access to resources,
  • Ensure humane treatment and protection of human rights for migrants and refugees,
  • Advocate for policies that promote social justice and equal access to opportunities.

And since we commemorate the World Day of Social Justice, let us recognize that our collective efforts hold the power to transform lives. The challenges facing Lebanon demand a united front—a coalition of individuals, organizations, and policymakers committed to social justice. Together, we can bridge gaps, build alliances, and pave the way for a more equitable and compassionate society.